Be Careful when “Making Healthy Choices”

Attorneys who represent youths, parents, and foster parents have reason to be concerned about a pamphlet recently published by the federal government’s Children’s Bureau. The pamphlet, “Making Healthy Choices,” is intended to advise youth in foster care about psychotropic medications and is being distributed nationwide in English and Spanish. Unfortunately, the pamphlet encourages youths to fill out a checklist/questionnaire of crimes they may have committed and to list deficits in their personalities and character. The youths are encouraged to ...

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Youth in Foster Care and Psychotropic Medications

Making Healthy Choices: A Guide on Psychotropic Medications for Youth in Foster Care looks like a graphic novel, but its photo-heavy format and cartoon speech balloons carry a serious message. Designed to appeal to youth, the booklet walks the reader through the decisions that have to be made when mental health problems—short- or long-term—need to be addressed. Often, the quick solution to dealing with behavior issues of youth in foster care has been to prescribe psychotropic medications. Recent publicity about the high numbers of medicated children and youth ...

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NSCAW Data on Psychotropics and Children in Care

A research brief released by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) examines the use of psychotropic medications by children in child welfare. What makes this brief unique is its exploration of and distinction among the use of psychotropics across placement types (in-home and out-of-home settings), mental health needs, and usage in tandem with other mental health treatments or services. Authors used data from the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW II). The NSCAW II study included ...

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